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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Musical Space: The Joy Of Skweee

The goal of skweee seems to be the use of the most synthetic sounds possible to make music that is still funky and soulful.
Credit Courtesy photo

Here’s something that’s caught my ear recently: Skweee (that’s S-K-W-E-E-E), which started in Finland and Sweden a little over 10 years ago. The goal of skweee seems to be the use of the most synthetic sounds possible to make music that is still funky and soulful. It is a downtempo style - much slower than Electro House or Drum and Bass. The digital drum parts are lifted from funk and R & B, the melodies, chords and basslines tend to sound like they came from the cheapest synthesizers available.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Writing Your Name Where It Doesn't Belong

RETNA creates a mural in Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas / Flickr / Creative Commons

At its most basic, "tagging" is the act of writing your name on a wall, on a newspaper stand, on a lamp post, or, let’s be honest, anything else that doesn’t belong to you.

The medium doesn’t particularly matter: marker or spray paint will do. In a pinch, and on the right surface, maybe even a ballpoint pen. The point is to put your mark where it wasn’t before, and to put it in a place where other people will see it.

And, like everything else in graffiti, the most important point is to do it with style.

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Government
10:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Committee Could Vote On Bill To Protect Those Who Don't Recognize Same-Sex Unions This Week

A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a bill aiming to protect religious freedom.

The bill says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage or provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.

Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He used the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

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Government
9:56 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Court Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany To Discuss Ways To Solve Judicial Budget Issues

A Kansas Court of Appeals judge is going before a Senate committee on Monday to discuss ways to solve the judicial branch's ongoing budget issues.

Judge Patrick McAnany is testifying on several bills to improve efficiencies in the court system. The goal is to close a projected $8.25 million dollar shortfall in the judicial budget for next year.

McAnany presided over a special commission in 2011 to find ways to improve judicial branch operations, including changes in staffing and record filing.

Commentary
5:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

At Play: Love, Evolution, And Science For Kids

There’s still time to catch Wichita Community Theatre’s production of Inherit The Wind, written by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee. The town of Hillsboro and its citizen Bertram Cates are on trial for teaching evolution in the public schools. The world has its eye on this small town as the trial unfolds. This production features Wichita stage veterans Don Wineke and David Bailey among others. The production closes on February 9.

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Community
6:00 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Celebrate The Vietnamese New Year In The Wichita Area

The Vietnamese New Year takes place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
Credit Hugo Phan

Once every year, my family and I celebrate Tết, which is also known as the Vietnamese/Lunar New Year.

From my experience with the holiday, preparations for the event usually involve one thing: cleaning.

“I want this house cleaned today because we’re not lifting a finger when Tết starts,” my mother says. “It’s bad luck.”

My father is not superstitious but still enjoys her rituals, which increase as the holiday grows closer. The whole family is pressed into cleaning, cooking and decorating – superstitious or not.

The theme of the holiday revolves around luck.

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Energy
10:27 am
Fri January 31, 2014

The KCC Temporarily Waives Barrel Fee During National Propane Shortage

The Kansas Corporation Commission is temporarily waiving its fee on excess propane storage.

The KCC wants to encourage shippers to send more propane into the state, so it's suspending the 7.5-cents-per barrel fee through February.

About 83,000 Kansas homes use propane for heat.

Its price spiked earlier this week at more than $4 per gallon.

Yesterday, Governor Brownback announced he was directing the state to help poor families relying on propane for home heating. He's also temporarily eased trucking regulations to help shippers.

Government
9:38 am
Fri January 31, 2014

NRA And KSRA Behind Push For New Gun-Rights Bill

Influential gun-rights groups are pushing bill proposals to strip cities and counties of their power to regulate guns.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee had a hearing yesterday on the bill, which the National Rifle Association and the Kansas State Rifle Association support.

It would keep cities and counties from limiting the open carrying of firearms, and bar them from spending tax dollars to administer firearms buyback programs.

The bill also declares existing ordinances void.

Commentary
5:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Richard Crowson: Wichita's the Top Flag!

Credit Wikimedia Commons

We’ve heard about the state of the union, the state of the state and the state of the city. It’s time we had an update on the state of the city flag.

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Gun Laws
3:57 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Bill Would Cut Back Open Carry Regulation

A legislative committee is considering a bill that would bar local governments in Kansas from passing any rules that restrict the open carry of firearms. It would also invalidate any local rules currently restricting open carry.

Representative Jim Howell, a Derby Republican, says the goal is to create consistency.

“So what this does, it just simply says we’re not going to let cities create a patchwork of laws, so that people can exercise their Second Amendment rights confidently, understanding the law, with simplicity," Howell says.

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